Malaysia's alleged collaboration with United States' Central Intelligence Agency's ‘extraordinary rendition' of two Libyan nationals in 2004 has received flak from rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL).

NONEAccording to a 212-page report by Open Society Justice Initiative - ‘Globalising Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition' - two Libyans, Abu Abdullah Al Sadiq (Abdul Hakim Belhadj) and wife Fatima Bouchar, who was pregnant, were arrested by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur nine years ago.

The couple were detained for 13 days under poor conditions and Fatima was denied medical attention. They were both subsequently transferred to Thailand where they were interrogated and tortured. 

The duo were later sent back Libya where Abu Abdullah was detained until 2010 while his wife was released after giving birth.

Documents discovered in Tripoli in September 2011 reveal Malaysia's cooperation with the the CIA in executing Abu Abdullah's transfer.

NONEA memorandum dated March 4, 2004 from the CIA to the Libyan government states "[w]e are working energetically with the Malaysian government to effect the extradition of Abu Abdullah from Malaysia. The Malaysians have promised to cooperate and arrange for Sadiq's transfer to our custody."

Extraordinary rendition is the transfer, without due legal process, of a detainee to the custody of a foreign government where they are detained in "black sites" for the purposes of CIA interrogation where they are subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques" - a euphemism for torture and other cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment.

"This treatment by the Malaysian government against the couple is shockingly hypocritical and shameful to say the least as Malaysia has been a severe critic of the Bush administration's ‘War on Terror' that had inflamed relationship between the ‘US-West' and the ‘Muslim world'.

"Here we have the Malaysian government actively collaborating with the US in persecuting suspected terrorists," lamented LFL's co-founder and advisor Eric Paulsen.
Authorities should explain

Paulsen said it was outrageous that the Malaysian authorities had arbitrarily and secretly detained two foreign nationals who seemingly have not committed any criminal offence in the country that warranted such a reaction.

“The arrest and detention seemed to have been done without any legal basis, due process and had operated outside the realm of the Malaysian constitution and other legal safeguards including access to legal counsel or hearing by a magistrate during remand. 

“Instead, the arrest was seemingly done at the direction of the CIA or other foreign authorities,” he said.

LFL call on the Malaysian government to explain the extraordinary rendition in this particular case and disclose any other collaboration between the Malaysian authorities and the CIA or other foreign authorities where individuals have been detained, interrogated, tortured and transferred around the world at the behest of foreign governments.

“We further call on the Malaysian government to refuse to participate in any other extraordinary renditions and to ensure that the rule of law is strictly observed - that any arrest, detention or deportation (of foreigners) is done transparently and properly in accordance to Malaysian and international law and legal processes.”